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Body Love: I Am Not Ashamed

(Originally Published 2019)

My weight has increased over the past few years as I've felt squeezed out of the rest of the world. And I'm tired of being ashamed of my body.

I know that I have gained weight to help me gain presence. So you can't ignore me.

I know I have gained weight to protect myself from life ... from the intensity of my children's tantrums ... from the tension in marriage as my husband and I have struggled to find our rhythm as parents ... from the pain of rising traumas long past that have come to the surface as I've healed them one by one ... from the judgement of family and friends as I've stepped off the beaten path and instead accepted my calling as a healer and spiritual teacher.

I know I have gained weight to keep me company in the midst of the isolation and loneliness of life as a stay-at-home mom … as a wife whose husband doesn’t know what the hell his woman is always going on about, bless his heart — feelings and philosophies and this and that … as an esoteric spiritual worker in a community of strict religion ... a wanderer who hasn't found her home and her people.

I know I have gained weight due to financial difficulties and job loss, because my body is an ancient vessel that knows how to protect itself against famine and scarcity, and so it holds onto fat to protect me from the long hungry days ahead.

I know I have gained weight because food was the only joy I had … the only friend who didn’t judge me … the only high in a never-ending parade of devastating emotional lows … the only safe way to feel pleasure.

And I know I have kept the weight for all these reasons and more, but especially because this American culture has taught me that fat people are not worthy of love and attention, and fat people are lazy, and fat people don’t take care of themselves, and fat people should be ashamed of themselves.

And it’s true: I didn’t believe I was worthy of love and attention. I did believe I was lazy. I did not make it a priority to take care of myself. I was ashamed. I was so very full of shame.

And it’s time to let it go. All of it. The shame, the protection, the scarcity, the fear, the loneliness. I hope the weight will follow suit. But if it doesn’t, it’s OK. It’s OK. I am not my body; my body is my vessel. And I can fulfill my mission here on earth as a divine being of love and light whether I’m a size 2 or a size 22.

I deserve to have presence. I deserve to be surrounded by people who care. I deserve abundance. I deserve joy. I deserve to believe in my goodness and tenacity and perseverance, no matter how slow the pace. I deserve to take care of myself. I deserve to have my voice heard.

And I am not ashamed.
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